ciscoNews this week that Cisco is entering the super-heated Cloud Market with investment of $1 billion. But when you peek under the mighty marketing machine, well, there is not a lot there, and what it does contain is just… weird. Weird enough to work maybe, time will tell.

“Cisco Systems Inc plans to offer cloud computing services, pledging to spend $1 billion over the next two years to enter a market currently led by the world’s biggest online retailer Amazon.com Inc. Cisco said it will spend the amount to build data centers to help run the new service called Cisco Cloud Services. The company said it plans to deliver the service with and through partners including Australian telecom service provider Telstra, tech distributor Ingram Micro Inc, and Indian IT company Wipro Ltd.” – Reuters

That’s about all she wrote in terms of a press release. The rest of it is the usual PR marketing fluff that you expect. When you dig down into what it all actually means it just gets weird and contradictory. This is from the Cisco FAQ on their Cloud offering.

Q. Is Cisco providing an Infrastructure as a Service offering?
A. No, Cisco is not looking to compete with its customers and partners in this area unlike other network and server equipment vendors. Cisco helps our customers to build and operate and offer their own IaaS services for private and public clouds.

If that wasn’t strange enough, given that most Cloud products are built on some kind of IaaS and if you are going to compete with Amazon you probably want that capability then check this out, from the same document!

Q. What Cisco Cloud solutions are available today?
A. These solutions are available:
  • Hosted Collaboration Solution
  • Infrastructure as a Service
  • TelePresence
  • Virtual Experience Infrastructure (VXI)

What?

Is Cisco going to provide IaaS, no they are not. What services are available, IaaS.

Putting that aside this sudden entry into the Cloud market looks more like using the Cloud Computing mega-trend as a vehicle to sell Cisco products and services that are already in existence. It’s more of the Cisco same. Strong networking, unified comms and data centre, and some professional services. I.e. Their bread and butter.

Then there is the weird partnering names mentioned.

Wipro is basically an outsourcing company, quite large, with over 900 customers in 61 countries. So the only reason that Cisco can be interested in them is to sell the product set into an existing client base.

Ingram Micro just sells bits really. Just a massive distributor. So we can assume that Cisco wants to partner with them to sell, well, bits.

Lastly, Telstra Australia. Again, weird. Telstra hasn’t traditionally offered Cloud services in the past, they work more on the old model of capacity on demand. So why them?

“Enterprises, service providers, and governments are turning to cloud computing to reduce costs, improve efficiency, simplify their organizations, offer innovative business models, and increase profitability. Cisco’s cloud strategy is to empower our customers and partners by transparently integrating the three pillars of cloud computing: Cisco Cloud Intelligent Network, Cisco Unified Data Center, and Cisco Cloud Applications and Services with Cloud Enablement Services underlying these pillars.” – Source

So… Cisco Cloud Intelligent Network is probably just what they do today already, the Unified Data Center is similar, that’s been around for a while, Cisco Cloud Applications aren’t actually defined anywhere I could see, and the last is just professional services with a Cloud angle, given customers will need that kind of advice.

I could be wrong, but Cisco’s news release just looks like a clever marketing ploy to try and get people to think that Cisco is “all up on Cloud and stuff.” Time will tell.

 

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